A reminder to the music industry
Thursday, August 3, 2000 by Dave Winer.
This is a short piece. A reminder to the music industry that we haven't heard back from them on two important questions raised in earlier pieces.
1. Several artists, including Roger McGuinn and Courtney Love, have said publicly they don't make money from music distribution, touring or merchandise. I've spoken privately with people in the music industry who say that Love and McGuinn are correct. I find this confusing, because in press statements the industry speaks on behalf of the artists, never themselves. Is music piracy hurting the musicians financially? Would they get less money even if all sales through distribution were to stop?
2. I pointed to a search engine at AOL's WinAmp subsidiary that does the same thing as Napster. It indexes users' hard drives and provides a convenient way to download music. It actually does more, it can store the music for you, on their server, in a "locker." (As a Napster user I wish they had this feature. I wish they would cache the music on more readily-accessible servers.)
Now these may or may not be legally relevant questions, but to music users these questions are extremely important.
Is it true that the artists make no money? If not, please explain.
If Napster is unfair, why is it OK for AOL to do the same thing?